Show Me the Honey! (And Taste It, Too!)
Yes, you heard that right. Cactus honey.
The plant may present a prickly situation to us, but not to the bees.
In addition to cactus honey, honey bee guru Eric Mussen, Extension apiculturist with the UC Davis Department of Entomology, will share five other varieties: California buckwheat, avocado, Eucalyptus, sage and orange.
Visitors can taste the honey from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Briggs Hall courtyard. Some 25,000 toothpicks will be provided. The honey? It's from Bennett’s Honey Farm in Ventura County.
Mussen has been staffing the honey-tasting table every year at the UC Davis Picnic Day since 1980. This year, due to popular demand, the department will add another table.
Mussen, with the UC Davis Department of Entomology since 1976, also will answer questions about honey and honey bees.
The event, free and open to the public, is part of the entomological activities that will take place at two locations: Briggs Hall, off Kleiber Hall Drive, and the Bohart Museum of Entomology, 1124 Academic Surge on California Drive.
The scores of activities at Briggs Hall will include Maggot Art, cockroach races and termite trails. At the Bohart Museum, home of more than seven million specimens, visitors can check out not only the pinned specimens but the live “petting zoo,” which includes Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks. In keeping with the museum theme, “Insects Are Forever”--and that insects can be a girl's best friend--the Bohart officials will post photos of women entomologists.
Indeed! You'll see professors, researchers and graduate students.
More information is on the UC Davis Department of Entomology website.
UC Davis honey ready to be extracted last fall. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)